So there is another thing I love to do to keep my family & myself healthy; homemade baking & cooking 🍛🍪. The motivation for this is definitely my children. Without the desire & dedication to raise healthy, balanced, successful children I would not eat half as healthy as I do. My son is also much pickier than my daughter was & has led me to explore creative ways to sneak nutrition into things he likes.
He loves bread; any kind! Yet it’s not the best food to eat too much of. This gave me the idea to incorporate healthy ingredients into an existing recipe for things like muffins, bread, & cookies.
The things I add most often are spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, & ginger; ground up seeds/nuts such as pumpkin seeds or pecans and throwing a few tablespoons of each into the dry ingredients along with 1/8 of a cup of chia seeds. Then I try to use at least half coconut oil in place of butter, but if not, the real butter is okay too. Then a lot of times I’ll use an alternative sugar, like coconut/maple syrup/agave, or honey to balance the sweeteners more.
If using sugar it is most likely organic brown sugar. Once in awhile, for muffins or bread, I’ll substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil. I’ve also been using oat flour more to cut down on gluten & add some fiber. It turns out the oat flour consistency is as close to regular wheat flour than all the other gluten free alternatives I’ve tried.
One more “trick” with cookies is adding a cup full of raisins when I can, ( rehydrate them first by covering with warm water & let sit for 10 minutes or so) which allows the sugar to be cut in half because the raisins make up for the sweetness. Also you could use dates, dried cranberries, or dried cherries. In breads or muffins, raisins, as mentioned, or very ripe bananas can add that extra sweetness; cutting down on the refined sugar.
When cooking, which has also had to get a little more creative since having my son, I add nutrition by using spices, herbs, cooking in healthy oils, making homemade soup, & adding garlic & onion whenever I have the chance (eggs, pizza, soups, stir-fry, and even buttered bread). Soup in the winter, along with tea & lots of citrus (grapefruit & oranges), are essential to our health! I love that both my kids are fans of grapefruit!
To prevent sickness we really have to work at it. Making healthy decisions, getting plenty of sleep ( Sleep Article ), drinking lots of hydrating fluids (water, tea, kombucha, coconut water), exercising regularly, practicing yoga, & connecting with nature are essential to fighting off colds; flues; & other illnesses. As a mother I can’t afford, deal with, or waste my time being sick. Yes, reality is, it happens sometimes; no matter what. It’s just so much worse as a mother of two & wife. I don’t want to deal with being sick or anyone else!
Homemade soup is such a great way to incorporate herbs, vegetables, & beneficial nutrients & minerals during flu season. The new one we’ve been making every week or so this year is: homemade chicken soup & bone broth. We get a local, farm raised, free of hormones & antibiotics chicken; bake it and use it for meat, soup, & broth! This lends a lot of opportunity to add beneficial immune boosters like onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, calendula, & astragalus. All except astragalus can be added to soup. Astragalus would just be used to make the bone broth but adds a lot of added nutrition (click on the foods/herbs listed above to read more about each and their health benefits).
Whenever we plan to go out of town, I bake either healthy, protein packed cookies or muffins. This helps keep our bodies more regular & gives us easy, nutrient dense snacks to enjoy. It’s also something everyone likes; even the picky 3 year old 😉.
The last thing I do that is important & is not mentioned last for its lack of significance, is drink LOTS of water. This is crucial for fighting off colds, flues, having good digestion, & makes ALL the difference for me in regards to having or not having my IBS flare up. It’s the thing that allows me the ability to eat or drink things I enjoy, even though my guts are sensitive to them, like: milk, coffee, pasta, cheese, & rich/creamy foods. Without a substantial amount of water, these send me running; butt clenched; almost sh!+&!#* in my pants to the bathroom 😵. Benefits of water for health & wellness article.
Sometimes trying to be healthy feels overwhelming when it means altering our routines & lifestyles. These are some simple ways I have found to incorporate healthy eating & drinking into our daily lives.
P.S. A great start for the morning is some hot oatmeal (quick/steel cut/Scottish/old fashioned rolled oats) on the stove with frozen berries🍓/cut up apple slices🍎, spices, ground pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, or maple syrup/coconut sugar/raw honey🍯 mixed in. The great part is how much of a well-rounded meal this can be; all in one pan. Such a great way to start the day!!
Have a peaceful night🌌, relaxing morning🌅 or productive afternoon🌁; wherever you may be🍵💕!
As always, thank you so much for reading, reflecting, & commenting=)!!